With all that AML professionals must do each day, sometimes important advisories and updates get overlooked.
On July 12, 2019 FinCEN issued an advisory referencing the June 21, 2019 Financial Action Task Force (FATF) publication which updated its list of jurisdictions with anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) deficiencies. The FATF is charged with monitoring jurisdictions for compliance to their global AML/CTF standards, and reporting countries with strategic deficiencies. Financial institutions (FIs) should consider these updates and changes when reviewing their overall BSA/AML programs and risk-based policies, procedures and practices.
What changed from the list? What, if any, countries should your financial institution add to your list of areas of concern?
Serbia, previously included on the FATF deficiency list, has been removed. According to the FATF, Serbia has made significant progress in improving their AML/CFT program and has established the legal and regulatory framework to meet the commitments regarding the deficiencies that the FATF previously identified. Serbia will continue to work toward further improvements.
Financial institutions should still conduct their own analysis of countries that have been removed from the list to determine if they are no longer areas of concern for the risk profile of each institution. Political unrest, human rights violations, and/or other financial crimes may be reasons to keep a jurisdiction on your internal list for monitoring even if the FATF determined AML/CFT progress has been made.
Panama has been added to the list and will undergo monitoring by FATF based on the country’s lack of effective implementation of its AML/CFT framework. Panama made a high-level political commitment to work with FATF to strengthen the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime.